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Military and War Junkie

Am I a military and war junkie? Probably. (my favorite TV shows include WWII documentaries on the History Channel, Stargate SG-1, Jack Bauer and 24, the movie Black Hawk Down, and the HBO series Band of Brothers.) Yes, I’m a guy, so the action and explosions gives me cheap thrills. Deep down (yes, there’s depth to Jeff), its about the truth of human nature, life, and being extra-human or superhuman. Only in extreme situations are people transformed, rather than just grow and mature from the routines of daily life. Growing and maturing are just steps, but transformations are leaps towards the great and powerful beings people can potentially be.

How much of life and being human can you really experience if you lead a normal life? You know, school, career, marriage, kids, retirement, buying the farm, and the occasional drunk romp you’d like to forget. Sure, these are all challenges, but nothing extreme and dire to test your limits and become more of a person. There’s nothing wrong with not taking on impossible challenges. Actually, I say it is impossble to consciously put yourself in the situations as extreme as I am talking about. Why? Because the extreme situations, running into gun fire, self sacrifice, or taking the leap of faith not knowing at all what is waiting on the other side, is impossible for anyone in their right mind to do.

“Nobody asks to be a hero, it just sometimes turns out that way.” ~Josh Hartnett as Sgt. Eversmann in Black Hawk Down

People can watch movies and dream about heroes all they want. The truth is if people are presented with the choice of living or 99.9% probability of dying, the natural reaction would be to live. You don’t even have to think about it, you choose life. But, if the choice of retreating, the choice of living, is not available…the human being transforms into something more, much more, something amazing. Call them whatever you want: extra-human, superhuman, or heroes.

The bottom line is, only this twisted madness we call life can put us at the point of no return, at which point we either die or transform. When a person is transformed, you can see the depth, the sorrow, the burden, but wisdom as well. The world becomes simple, life becomes clear. All the noise of life regular people bicker over, who said what or what looks better or ugly, all the noise vanish. There aren’t really all so much problems and concerns regular people pretend there to be. Regular people make up problems and concerns because their lives are too simple and boring. Having not been to the point of no return, regular people do not appreciate simple and boring as the privileged luxury that it is.

Yes, war and military shows provide cheap thills, but that is just the little extra icing on the top. The only real reason I watch these shows is because it is humanity, actually life, at its greatest. Not just best, but greatest. People watch Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan because they are great. I hope you will watch war and military shows with from this new perspective I’ve written about here and see the greatness as well.

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